ISHA Announces Grants for Conference, Special Project

The International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) is pleased to announce the availability of four different grants totaling nearly $5,000 that are available to members. The grants are supported through the ISHA Founder’s Fund.

The ISHA board of directors approved two conference travel grants available to members in good standing. Each is worth up to $1,000. These grants are available for institution members, including emerging professionals and members living outside Canada and the United States of America. Two other grants are available to cover the costs of conference registration only.

Additionally, ISHA is offering a Special Project Grant of up to $2,000 available to member institutions. This grant may be used for projects that increase collection capacity, public access, awareness and interpretation, as well as improve documentation and preservation.

The deadline for the conference registration and travel grants is June 30, 2019. Decisions are expected to be made by mid-August, offering members the opportunity to take advantage of reduced transportation costs. The application is available online and attached. Please email completed applications to [email protected]

Additional requirements can be found on the applications.

The annual ISHA Conference will be held from Oct. 23-24, 2019, in Wichita, Kansas, and will be hosted by the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.

The Founder’s Fund raises money to support ISHA grants through initiatives like the silent auction, reverse raffle and individual or corporate donations. In 2020 a sponsor will be sought to fund one of the $1,000 travel grants.



The National Soccer Hall of Fame Wins GOLD Muse Award for Research and Innovation

NEC and National Soccer Hall of Fame are the first to use facial recognition technology to individualize a guest’s experience in a sports and entertainment venue

Frisco, TX (May 21, 2019) – The National Soccer Hall of Fame’s facial recognition technology got some recognition of its own.

The American Alliance of Museums Media and Technology Network’s awarded the National Soccer Hall of Fame the Gold Muse Award for Research and Innovation for its “Facial Recognition Personalization Software” on Monday night. FC Dallas President Dan Hunt and Mark Ikeno, CEO of NEC Corporation of America, accepted the award at AAM’s Media & Technology MUSE Awards in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“It’s an honor to have the National Soccer Hall of Fame recognized amongst some of the most influential and forward-thinking institutions in the industry, both domestic and international,” National Soccer Hall of Fame Executive Director Djorn Buchholz said. “There are many partners who worked collaboratively to bring this first of its kind personalization system to life and we are thrilled to share this award with all of them.”

“To be a part of the great institutions recognized is really special – not only to win our category, but because we were the only sports venue winner,” Hunt said. “It’s a culmination of bringing our facial recognition software and doing something that nobody else has done in the entire world. Our partners at Cortina Productions and HealyKohler Design took what NEC can do, and made it forward-facing and integrated it to the museum experience. We’re proud to lead the way at the National Soccer Hall of Fame.”

Powered by NEC and its NeoFace® facial recognition software, National Soccer Hall of Fame guests experience a custom-tailored tour unlike anything they’ve experienced in a sports setting. NEC and the National Soccer Hall of Fame are the first to use facial recognition technology to individualize a guest’s experience in a sports and entertainment venue.

During registration, visitors create a profile by selecting their favorite teams, position on the pitch and level of soccer fandom. The National Soccer Hall of Fame’s 15 interactive exhibits incorporate the facial recognition technology to recognize guests as they approach and tailor the content to the visitor’s taste. Through the interactives, visitors can build their dream US National Team, design their own MLS kits, create a scarf that can be printed on-site and test their soccer skills with gesture-based technology and virtual reality.
About the National Soccer Hall of Fame
The National Soccer Hall of Fame was originally founded in 1950 by the Philadelphia Old-Timers Association to recognize individuals for their outstanding contributions to American soccer. In 1979, the National Soccer Museum, as a physical entity, was established in Oneonta, NY. It was officially recognized as the National Soccer Hall of Fame by the U.S. Soccer Federation in 1983.

In June of 1999, the National Soccer Hall of Fame opened a 30,000 square-foot museum in Oneonta where it housed a collection of more than 80,000 items. The facility closed in February of 2010.

In 2013 FC Dallas owners, Clark and Dan Hunt, launched a campaign to bring the Hall of Fame to Frisco, TX. Their late father, Lamar Hunt, was inducted in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1999, he received the Hall’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. He remains one of only three individuals to have won the award.

The National Soccer Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium opened to the public on November 2, 2018.

The National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame (NPASHF) announced today Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is the recipient of the organization’s newly-originated Tony Kubek Media Award.

Wojnarowski will be the inaugural recipient of the NPASHF’s Tony Kubek Media Award, presented to a Polish-American media member for outstanding contributions to any form of sports media, including but not limited to, print, broadcast, and internet media. He will be recognized at the NPASHF’s Annual Induction Banquet on Thursday, June 20, in Troy, Michigan.

Wojnarowski (nicknamed “Woj” by his legion of followers) is proud of his Polish heritage.  He was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Grew up in Bristol where he went to Bristol Central HS. then  graduated from St. Bonaventure University. His media career has included stops with the Hartford Courant, Fresno Bee, The Record, Yahoo Sports, and since 2017, with ESPN where he is widely recognized as the top NBA insider and news breaker. Wojnarowski is integral to  ESPN’s multimedia coverage of the NBA covering the league, its teams, players, free agency, the NBA Draft, the NBA Summer League and more. His social media  following is one of the highest of any U.S. media member. In 2006, Wojnarowski authored the New York Times best-seller , “The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable Dynasty (Gotham Books.)

Tony Kubek is also a proud Polish-American. He was a former New York Yankees shortstop (1957-1965), a 4-time All-Star, 3-time World Series Champion and the 1957 American League Rookie of the Year. Following his on-field career, Kubek became perhaps the most famous network television baseball analyst, working alongside greats like Jim Simpson, Curt Gowdy, Joe Garagiola and Bob Costas on NBC Sports coverage of Major League Baseball. Kubek also worked games for Canada’s CTV and CSN, and Madison Square Garden Network. Kubek was awarded the Ford C. Frick award in 2009 for broadcast excellence by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He was enshrined into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

The 47th Annual Induction Banquet will be Thursday, June 20, 2019, at the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy, Michigan.  Tickets for the banquet, which begins at 5:30 p.m., are $125 and can be ordered by calling (248) 259-3428.


Eric Gillies and Josée Picard: Skate Canada Hall of Fame Inductees
Legendary coaches Eric Gillies and Josée Picard entered the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in the professional category.
Gilles, from Moncton, N.B., and Picard, from Hull, Que., have coached countless skaters to national and international medals in singles, pairs and ice dance, including World Pair Champions and Olympic medallists Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, and World Ice Dance Champions Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz.
Picard and Gillies were also instrumental in the development and operation of a centre combining education and sports – the first of its kind in Quebec.
Gillies was a noted Canadian ice dancer, and with partner Susan Carscallen, represented Canada at the 1976 Olympic Winter Games and captured gold at the 1977 Canadian Figure Skating Championships. Picard was also a national level skater and was one of the first coaches of 2018 World Champion Kaetlyn Osmond.
Eric Gillies and Josée Picard: Entered the Skate Canada Hall of Fame (Professional Category), January 2019
Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon: Skate Canada Hall of Fame Inductees
Two-time world ice dance silver medallists Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon take their rightful place in the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in the Athlete Category.
Dubreuil and Lauzon, who both hail from Montreal, were one of the world’s premier ice dance teams for nearly a decade. They teamed up in 1995 and would go on to win gold at the Canadian Championships five times (2000, 2004-2007).
The duo represented Canada at the Olympic Winter Games in 2002 and 2006 and captured back-to-back silver medals at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in 2006 and 2007. They also won Skate Canada International gold in 2006 and 2007.
After announcing their retirement in 2008, Dubreuil and Lauzon embarked on a successful coaching career in Montreal.
Among their protégés are 2018 Olympic gold medallists Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir of Canada, three-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron of France, 2019 world bronze medallists Madison Hubbell / Zachary Donohue of the United States and Canadian national team members Laurence Fournier Beaudry / Nikolaj Sorensen and Carolane Soucisse / Shane Firus.
Dubreuil and Lauzon were married in 2008 and currently reside in Montreal.
Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon: Entered the Skate Canada Hall of Fame (Athlete Category), May 2019



The Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Indiana is getting rave reviews — and it’s just getting started. The Indianapolis Star has called it “a piece of Disney right in Indiana” and “…the fury version of Cooperstown.” That’s very impressive coverage for a museum that only just opened for visitors in December 2018.

A hearty congratulations from Chicago Scenic to founder and museum visionary, David Raymond, mayor of Whiting, Joseph M. Stahura, and the excellent Hall of Fame team.

Why mascots—and why a hall of fame? The museum is Raymond’s brainchild and he’s pursued the vision for 14 years. Chicago Scenic also is giving a shout-out to our fellow collaborators on the museum—including the talented people at JRA, the Cincinnati attraction design firm that we partnered with on the 25,000 sq. ft. facility.

The Mascot Hall of Fame features state-of-the-art exhibits, activities, and events that celebrate the unique appeal and fun of mascots for sports teams.

Chicago Scenic’s team of fabricators spent six months building the seven exhibits that make for a highly interactive and fun family-oriented experience – each of which features a fun, playful name including Fuzzical Education, Fureshman Orientation, Science of Silliness, Marvelous Mascot Maker, Mascot Studies, The Furry Arts, and Frankenfur’s Mascots.

The Hall of Fame comes to life at a special time for Chicago Scenic, as we celebrate our 40th year in business. It turns out, you learn a whole lot in four decades. We’ve spent some time recently pulling together many key ideas and insights that we’ve had in that time—you’ll hear more about what we have planned soon, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here are a few important insights that helped guide our work on the Mascot Hall of Fame and that we draw on in museums primarily targeting children:

  1. Kids are tough customers: Nothing beats kids when they’re engaged and having fun. But the biggest challenge in creating for children is this: Kids explore everything and they don’t hold back. They put things in their mouths, they put things in their ears. They smell, they taste — they push it, spin it, turn it, bang on it. Exhibits and installations for kids have to stand up to all that—and more. Building it for kids? Take your worst fears about making things last and multiply them times 10.


  1. Science, With a Side of Art: When it comes to interactive children’s exhibits, today’s focus is all about STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and STEAM (add in “art”). Starting with those principles provides the meat of the interaction. Add the magic of theatre and ensure that the exhibits are intuitive and you create an engaging opportunity that children will enjoy and revisit. Science, art, theatre: an uncommon and powerful combination.


  1. Great Teams – Not Lone Wolves: It’s a fact: more innovations come from teams and groups than from a lone genius. Excellent collaboration is essential — great teams are fueled by people working together effectively. Excellent project managers are essential — and the best of them know how to help a team surface great ideas and balance competing interests, budgets, and client demands. Build the Best Team: More Heads are better than one.

Mascot Hall of Fame Credits: JRA (design); Chicago Scenic Studios, Inc. (project management, fabrication and installation).; Trivium, Northern Light, & Electrosonic (AV/Media).

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced that it will showcase three-time NCAA Division I national champions from Pennsylvania at the NCAA Wrestling Fan Fest in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center – Hall A on March 21-23. Held in conjunction with the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, the Fan Fest is free to the public.

The Hall of Fame will also host a roundtable discussion, moderated by Tom Elling, with three-time NCAA champion Nate Carr, two-time NCAA champion David Taylor and Erin Vandiver, who is the girls wrestling coach at national high school powerhouse Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pennsylvania. The three will discuss their careers in wrestling and the role that the Keystone State played.

The event will be held on Thursday, March 21, from 3:45-4:30 p.m. on the Fan Fest Main Stage in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center – Hall A. Carr, Taylor and Vandiver will sign autographs immediately following the discussion.

“Pennsylvania has an amazing wrestling history and has hosted the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships 14 times, including in Pittsburgh in 1957 and 2019,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Lee Roy Smith. “There have been countless national champions either from Pennsylvania or wrestling for Pennsylvania schools, including 10 three-time NCAA Division I champions. We want to give wrestling fans an opportunity to hear from some of the state’s great wrestlers to learn more about the incredible impact that Pennsylvania has had on our sport at the state, national and international level.”

A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Carr was a Pennsylvania state champion and a three-time NCAA champion and a two-time Big 8 champion for Iowa State University. A Distinguished Member inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003, he won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics and represented the United States in two World Championships. Carr is currently an associate director at the Cyclone Regional Training Center in Ames, Iowa, and also a member of the Hall of Fame’s Board of Governors. He was an assistant coach at West Virginia University, being named National Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association in 1991, and, most recently, coached at Perry High School in Massillon, Ohio, where his son, David, was a four-time state champion and the national winner of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award.

The Carr family had six brothers who wrestled in college and five earned All-American honors, beginning with Fletcher, who was an All-American at the University of Tampa in 1972 and 1973. Fletcher then became the first African-American full-time head coach at the University of Kentucky, leading the Wildcats to two Southeastern Conference titles. He was also the first African-American coach to have an African American wrestler earn Division I All-America honors when his brother, Joe, finished third in 1975. Joe finished third again in 1976 while Jimmy finished fifth in 1977. Jimmy finished sixth at the 1971 Senior World Championships as a 16 year old and is the youngest American to compete in the Olympics, wrestling as a 17-year-old high school junior in 1972. Mike was an All-American for West Virginia in 1988.

Vandiver, who served many years as USA Wrestling’s Assistant National Women’s Coach, has been coaching at Wyoming Seminary since 2017. Competing under her maiden name Erin Tomeo, she was a member of the 2001 and 2006 U.S. World Teams and was a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete. She was the first girl in Pennsylvania wrestling history to place at the district high school boys wrestling tournament, finishing fourth, and to win a match at the regional tournament. Vandiver also won Cadet World bronze medals in 1998 and 1999. She wrestled at Lock Haven University as a member of the men’s team in 2001-02 with eventual Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann, World medalist Jenny Wong and World team member Jenna Pavlik. Vandiver’s brother, Tom Tomeo, was an All-American for Clarion University while her cousin, Seth Creasy, was an NCAA qualifier for Lock Haven. Her husband, Chad Vandiver, wrestled at Northern Illinois and was a member of the Greco-Roman National Team.

Taylor was a two-time NCAA champion and a two-time NCAA runner-up for Penn State University while helping lead the Nittany Lions to four national team titles. The national winner of the Hall of Fame’s Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award in 2009, Win Magazine named him as the Hodge Trophy award winner, presented to the best college wrestler, in 2012 and 2014. Taylor was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2014 while winning four Big Ten championships. He won his first World Championship in 2018 and was named the best pound-for-pound freestyle wrestler in the world in 2018 by United World Wrestling after earning more ranking points than any other freestyle wrestler in any class. A four-time Ohio state high school champion and a two-time high school All-American, he has M2 Training Center in Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania.

Elling, who received the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award from the Hall of Fame’s Pennsylvania Chapter in 2007, founded the Pennsylvania Wrestling newspaper and has been the Pennsylvania editor for Wrestling USA Magazine since 1974. He coached Lock Haven High School while also serving as a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association official and acting as tournament director of operations at the PIAA State Championships. Elling created the first PA Wrestling website and the PA Wrestling handbook and currently serves as vice president of the Hall of Fame’s Pennsylvania Chapter.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, March 21

 3-7 p.m. NCAA Fan Festival and Win Magazine Memorabilia Show
David L. Lawrence Convention Center – Hall A

5:15-6 p.m.   National Wrestling Hall of Fame Roundtable Discussion
Pennsylvania Wrestling Greats
David L. Lawrence Convention Center – Hall A

6-6:30 p.m.   Autograph session with Nate Carr, David Taylor and Erin Vandiver
David L. Lawrence Convention Center – Hall A

Friday, March 22

 2-7:30 p.m.   NCAA Fan Festival and Win Magazine Memorabilia Show
David L. Lawrence Convention Center – Hall A

Saturday, March 17

 1-6:30 p.m.   NCAA Fan Festival and Win Magazine Memorabilia Show
David L. Lawrence Convention Center – Hall A

Canadian Sport and Heritage Conference 2019

Presented by the Canadian Association for Sport Heritage

Date: June 19-21, 2019

Location: Crowne Plaza Fredericton

Join us in Fredericton, NB as Sport, Heritage and Culture organizations from across Canada will come together for this one-of-a-kind conference! The Conference will contain lots of opportunities for Professional Development, Networking, and Best Practices for volunteers and staff alike.

Click Here for rates and the Registration Form

Click Here to reserve accommodations


Day 1
Get Inspired…Heritage Matters!
Growing Engagement and Outreach
Creating an Interactive Museum Experience

Tour of the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame’s
Interactive Museum Experience

Riverboat Cruise of the St. John River and Historical Presentation
Welcome Reception

Day 2
Maintaining Relevance in the Digital Age
Harnessing the Power of Social Media and Google Analytics
Funding Opportunities with Heritage Canada
Tapping Into The Corporate Sector

Tour of King’s Landing Historical Site
The Living Museum Experience and The Art of Story-telling
Maritime Kitchen Party at the King’s Head Inn

Day 3
Canadian Association for Sport Heritage Annual General Meeting
Hot Topics Roundtable

You can register by clicking the link below! 
Register before May 1st for a discounted Early Bird rate!

Click Here to Register

SAGINAW, MI – The Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame unveiled a new display Thursday that allows fans to measure themselves against basketball stars Jason Richardson and Craig Dill.


“We wanted to add an interactive display that kids will love,” Hall of Fame president Jack Tany said. “We’ve got one of the tallest players in Saginaw County history in Craig Dill, plus one of the biggest leapers in Saginaw history in Jason Richardson.

“The hoop is from North School and is at 10 feet. The photos are backlit, and they really look great. We went to Morley (Companies) and told them what we wanted and asked them if it could be done. They said no problem, and they did a great job.”

Both Dill and Richardson starred at Arthur Hill. Dill went on to play at the University of Michigan and in the American Basketball Association, while Richardson played at Michigan State University and 14 years in the NBA.

Richardson won the NBA Dunk Contest in 2002 and 2003, and Tany used a photo from the dunk contest to show Richardson’s leaping ability.

“We put a measuring stick on the side of the display so that kids or anyone could see where they stand as Richardson is jumping or how tall they are next to Craig Dill.”

Dill was inducted into the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. Richardson retired in 2015 and is not yet eligible for induction.

The display fills one wall of the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame at the Castle Museum.

By Hugh Bernreuter | [email protected]